There will likely be a slower pace of sales in the Chinese cherry market this season, according to one importer.
The first batch of sea freight Chilean cherries arrived at the Guangzhou Jiangnan market – the biggest fresh produce market in China – on Dec. 14, followed by the second batch a week later.
“At the moment, sales remain average as the cherry price is higher than the normal market price,” Zhang Ji, manager of trading company Jiguoxuan, told Fresh Fruit Portal.
“As more shipments arrive, the market is seeing a lower price and perhaps the cherry sales will increase,” said Jie.
Jie said consumers are waiting for prices to drop when greater volumes arrive.
He said that the Royal Dawn variety currently accounts for around two-thirds of Chilean cherry supply, with Santina representing the rest.
“Santina has better quality and the price is around $14 higher than Royal Dawn,” Jie said.
According to Freshport, market prices for a 5-kilo box are US$58 and US$70, for Royal Dawn and Santina respectively.
The general market sale for Royal Dawn has seen a decrease in comparison to the same period last year, and Jie said it’s likely that there will be leftovers
“The qualities of the Royal Dawn reduced partly due to the hail in Chile this year, there are visible blemishes and the tastes are more sour,” he said.
Jie also believed there that a greater proportion of volumes would be sold directly to retailers this year.
“The Chilean cherries will see less popularity as the north region starts to produce their own cherries for direct shipment to retailers with lower market price. The Guangzhou Jiangnan wholesale market will become less popular,” he said.
He also expected prices to remain high during the Chinese New Year period in February and believed they would drop quickly afterward.